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Understanding Juvenile Court


When a minor is charged with a crime, the process in juvenile court is much different than when an adult is tried for a crime. Generally, a juvenile is not afforded all of the rights that adults are guaranteed in criminal courts. Differences between juvenile courts and the adult criminal court system vary from state to state, and may make it even more important to have a criminal defense lawyer in your corner when confronting charges of Juvenile Criminal Defense committed by your child.

If your minor child has been arrested and is in need of a criminal defense attorney, contact Total Lawyers at 877-421-3761 or complete our free criminal defense case evaluation form. Once we receive your information, we will put you in touch with a sponsoring criminal defense attorney in your local area.

Right to Jury By Trial

In most states, juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury. A handful of states have extended this right to all juvenile defendants, while some other states allow for jury trials when a juvenile is subject to be tried as an adult.

Usually, juvenile proceedings are handled informally and involve the accused juvenile admitting guilt and then entering a court agreement to meet certain conditions like home detention, probation, school attendance, and drug counseling and testing.

Posting Bail in Juvenile Cases

There is no bail in most juvenile cases. Typically, a juvenile in detention will stay there until a court determines something different. However, a juvenile brought into adult criminal court will often qualify for bond and remain free pending trial. You may want to speak with a local criminal defense attorney to gain more insight into if your minor child has the right to post bond.

Due Process Rights in a Juvenile Case

Juveniles are guaranteed certain due process rights, including the:

  • 5th Amendment Right against Self-Incrimination;
  • Right to Counsel;
  • Right to Call Witnesses on Their Own Behalf;
  • Right to Certain Procedural Protections; and
  • Right to Have Their Parents Present when Answering Questions (In Most Cases).

Juvenile offenses may lead to harsh punishments for the minor and even the parents. A local criminal defense attorney who handles juvenile delinquency proceedings in your state can provide guidance in your child’s case. Call 877-421-3761 or fill out our free case evaluation form, and we’ll help you schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in your area.

representative available 24/7 – Call 877-421-3761

The above summary of criminal rights is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. For the latest information on criminal laws, speak to a local criminal defense lawyer in your state.